'Garbage juice' at the podium - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

'Garbage juice' at the podium

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Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 11:00 pm

Marana Regional Landfill opponent Albert Vetere Lannon took a day's garbage from his household, let it sit for a week in summer's heat, and poured off 3/4ths of a cup of "leachate," what he called "garbage juice."

The Picture Rocks resident then did the math, and concluded the landfill proposed for annexed ground in west Marana would generate 19.48 million gallons of leachate a year, enough to fill more than 30 Olympic swimming pools.

"Do you want our precious water aquifer exposed to over 19 million gallons of potentially toxic garbage juice each year?" Lannon asked the Marana Town Council last week.

Though the landfill would be lined and monitored, and though developer DKL Holdings insists the heat would evaporate any fluid in trash, landfill foes have argued the commercial landfill would threaten groundwater beneath the Marana site. They say any lining system would eventually leak.

Lannon brought his bottle of brown "garbage juice" to the podium Sept. 7.

The Lannon household has two senior adults, a dog, a cat and a canary. He collected all the garbage of a day – fruit and vegetable leavings, vegetable oil and bacon fat, cat and bird excrement, gravy leavings, meat scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, used tissues and wet paper towels – about two pounds worth in all. After a week in a plastic container, the "garbage juice" resulted.

"Don't take my word for it," Lannon told the council. "Try the experiment yourselves. If you get similar results, then we have used the scientific method to establish a fact; not an opinion, a fact."

Landfill opponents continue to appear before the town council. Last week, Mimi Battin said "the golden carrot" put forward by landfill developers "has more attraction and appeal than right or wrong."

Consideration of a development agreement governing non-regulated aspects of landfill operation is due before the Marana Planning Commission on Wednesday, Sept. 29.

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